Biomimicry or Biomimetics come both from ancient greek bios, that means life, and mimesis, that means to imitate.
3.8 billion years of research and development!
Since life exists, nature have found the best way to evolve as a survival strategy. Nature is imaginative by necessity. It has about 3.8 billion years of research and development to found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on the planet Earth. Animals, plants, germs… any alive cell is part of the Nature engineers collective.
Velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks found on the surface of burs. Picture by Robert Clark
Innovation Inspired by Nature
Biomimetics is not a new idea. Since time immemorial, simple people and scientists have been watching and studied nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to find answers and solve many situations in the human history. The word biomimicry appeared in 1982 and was generalized in 1997 by scientist and writer Janine Benyus with her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In this publication, Biomimicry is defined as a “new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems”. Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor” and emphasizes sustainability as an objective of biomimicry. More simply, Biomimicry is the way to generate innovation inspired by Nature.
Picture by Robert Clark and Emily T.Griffiths, American Museum of Natural History
A path to a sustainable future
Biomimicry is a new way to perceive and value nature. It brings us to to the idea that the best way to take benefits of the natural world is maybe not to massively extract substances and valuables from it, but what we can learn from it. The conscious emulation of life’s and nature’s genius is a survival strategy for the human race. It’s a possible path to a sustainable and better future.
Learn More About Biomimicry:
- A Conversation with Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
- The Biomimicry Design Spiral: A Practical Tool for Innovation
This post is also available in: French